“For God so loved the world that He gave...” John 3:16
Christmas is a time when we give gifts to family, friends, and others. For those of us who have come to know God, it is a time when we remember His precious gift of the Baby Jesus who came to earth to die on the cross for our sins. We celebrate with songs of praise and prayers of thanks for God’s gift - “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The Bible says that God is love. Whereas there can be giving without love (motived by obligation, guilt, or even pride), there cannot be love without. What can we learn about this amazing Giver?
God Is The Ultimate Giver
God gave us LIFE! In the beginning, God created mankind and He gave us life! “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Genesis 2:7 He wanted people made in His image that He could have an intimate relationship with. He wanted people He could give life to and who would be totally satisfied with Him and His gifts.
God gave us FREE WILL! God gave Adam and Eve a free will. Without a free will, there could be no sincere worship of their Creator. “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”” Genesis 2:16-17 As we all know, sadly, they chose to disobey God. The Bible calls this rebellion sin. Sin brought death – physical, spiritual, and eternal. But God did not stop giving!
God gave us SALVATION! God is merciful and gracious to sinners. He wanted to redeem us, to rescue us from sin and death because of His great love. “The free gift of God is eternal life.” Receiving God’s gift of Jesus Christ is not by our works or good deeds. It is free! It cost God everything, but His gift is given freely to everyone.
We love God because He loved us first. “…Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:2
It can be difficult to admit, but by nature, we are all takers. Yes, we will give to others, but often expecting something in return. It is totally unnatural to give like God gives – self-sacrificially, forgiving others, and loving our enemies. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 Amazing love!
God simply asks us to turn from our sin to Him and receive His gift of eternal life in Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We cannot save ourselves by our good works. God saves us! The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin and He makes us a new person in Christ!
God gives the HOLY SPIRIT to make us Givers of the Gospel! Every Christian receives God’s gift of the Holy Spirit when they believe to transform our lives from takers to givers of the gospel. “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Now we can be God’s instruments of grace and take the GIFT of Jesus to our lost world. Praise God!!!
Thank YOU for demonstrating the love of God to us and a lost world by giving of your finances and prayers in 2021! Thank you again for your generosity! You are God’s gift to us!
We are praying that you will have a wonderful Christmas enjoying our Lord and Savior who loves you so much!
Steve & Danelle
wwww.reliant.org 11002 Lake Hart Dr, Suite 100, Orlando, FL 32832 www.gcmnelson.com